This week, the nib Newcastle Knights received a phone call and email applauding the selfless act of Kalyn Ponga who took the initiative to make the day of an unsuspecting teacher and student.
It’s Speech Week at The Junction Public School and Ollie Daniels, a student in year four, chose to speak about the athletes he admires most.
One of those athletes was Kalyn.
Ollie’s teacher, Mr Savage, filmed a section of Ollie's speech and sent it to Kalyn.
Roughly 40 minutes later he turned up to the school and asked if it would be possible to see Ollie.
The impromptu visit to the classroom was capped off with photos, a handwritten note and a bag which contained his State of origin head gear from last Sunday night.
Ollie’s mother, Angela Lerougetel, contacted the Club shortly after to thank our fullback for his incredible act of kindness.
“We really just want to pass on a huge thank you to Kalyn Ponga and just really recognizing how these small acts of kindness are really appreciated by the parents and local school community,” an email from Angela read.
“So proud to have these positive cool clam guys playing for the Knights and for our sons to look up to. Sport is everything for them.”
Angela wanted to share Ollie’s experience with the Queensland Origin representative and provided the Club with photos from the encounter.
A copy of Ollie's Speech is below:
Have you ever had a think about who you look up to?
I can honestly say that I look up to my dad. Because I literally have to look up to him. He’s nearly 2 metres tall. And well my dad looks up to Robert Wadlow… the tallest man in the world and is nearly 3 meters tall.
Just joking… I’m really talking about who you respect and look to in your life for some inspiration. For me, this comes down to 3 people, and SURPRISE 3 SPORTSMAN - Kalyn Ponga, Jonathan Thurston & Mick Fanning.
I look up to Kalyn Ponga mainly because he is the most exciting player in the NRL, BUT ALSO because he is only 21 YEARS OLD and is ALREADY able to be such an awesome role model.
• He is a leader within his team
• plays by the rules
• and earns the respect of all his fans being genuine
• Besides his footy skills, Kalyn’s GREATEST qualities are his focus and drive to become the best that he can be
Although my mum says I’ll never be getting a tattoo.. I’ll always get inspiration from Kalyn’s motto on life which he has tattooed on his arm… “keep it cool”.
In an email Ollie’s mother to the Knights, she wrote:
‘At home Ollie could not get the smile of his face and was still in disbelief. He proudly showed off his new headgear to his family all night and placed it high on his bookcase in prime position so he can stare at it when he goes to bed, so gorgeous!’
Ollie wrote a thank you letter for Kalyn which has been shared with us:
His parents also provided a letter: